The increasing prominence of intellectual property and the concomitant increase in work for legal departments
Two of the in-house lawyers profiled in the Columbia L. School Mag., Summer 2011 at 28, singled out the explosion of intellectual property issues. You could say that being a lawyer for Warner Music Group and the Jacksonville Jaguars football team would obviously entail extensive intellectual property rights. True, but they both stressed the spiraling amount, prominence, and complexity of those issues. They and many other in-house lawyers want to maximize the value of the intellectual capital and property owned by their companies and that campaign has taken on more prominence.
Global commerce and the internet, cited frequently as forces that have compounded legal needs and complexity, both link closely to IP rights. As trade spreads you have to be more protective in more areas; as technology untethers physical products to online domains (and abuses), IP advice takes on ever more importance. IP as a strategic tool looks set to soak up increasing amounts of law department time.